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Constantinopolis

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Constantinopolis.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    James D Shipman(Author)

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In 1453 Constantinople is the impregnable jewel of the East. It has stood as the greatest Christian city for a millennium as hordes have crashed fruitlessly against its walls. But Mehmet II, the youthful Sultan of the Ottoman Turks, has besieged the city. His opponent is Constantine XI, the wise and capable ruler of the crumbling Eastern Roman Empire. Mehmet, distrusted by his people and hated by his Grand Vizer, must accomplish what all those before him have failed to do: capture Constantinople. To prove that he deserves the throne that his father once took from him, Mehmet, against all advice, storms the city. If he fails, he will not only have failed himself and his people, but he will surely lose his life. On the other side of the city walls, the emperor Constantine must find a way to stop the greatest army in the medieval world. To finance his defenses, he becomes a beggar to the Pope, the Italian city-states, and the Hungarians. But the price for aid is high: The Pope demands the Greeks reunite the Eastern and Western churches and accept the Latin faith. If Constantine wants aid for his people he must choose between their lives and their souls. Two leaders, two peoples, two faiths battle for their future before the mighty walls of Constantinople.

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Book details

  • PDF | 400 pages
  • James D Shipman(Author)
  • CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; First edition (July 28, 2013)
  • English
  • 4
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Tony R. Parsons on April 9, 2014

    Set in the 1453, the greatest city of the Christian western world is Constantinople. It has at least a 1,000 yr. history of nomadic tribe’s invasion & raining down pestilence/war upon the PPL/ city.After the death of his well-respected father, Murad; Sultan Mehmet II (Emperor), reigns over the Ottoman Turks (Empire) & is hell-bent on capturing Constantinople. 8 centuries earlier, Mohammed had predicted this. Mehmet PPL do not think very highly of him, nor does the Grand Vizier Halil. Greek Emperor Constantine XI is his opposition.Constantinople has greatly reclined & Emperor Constantine XI hopes the Emperor of Hungary, the Pope & the Genoans’ will all help save his PPL. The top notch chief military advisor of the Genoans’ is wounded & is no longer much service to Emperor Constantine XI/PPL. All the help he has asked for comes at a cost. The PPL must give up their Eastern Christian Church faith (Eastern Orthodox rite) & reform to the Roman Catholic Church faith (Latin Mass). John Hunyadi an ally leads Hungarian army to the north on a very successful military mission.Emperor Constantine XI could also marry a Georgian princess from the east so their country would come to his aid. But then he would have to give up his Greek lover Zophia, who he can share everything heart felt with.Sultan Mehmet II (Emperor) also becomes involved with a native women from Constantinople & things turn sour in their relationship (religion). Sultan Mehmet II advisor is also trying to stab him in the back.Spies on both sides Greek & Ottoman are running rampant, & lots of other rivalries going on. The Italian city-states are feuding between each other as well as profiting from the Ottoman trade. They are also not the least bit interested in helping save Constantinople from further destruction.Will Sultan Mehmet II (Emperor) seize Constantinople as predicted? Will Emperor Constantine XI get any help at all? If Sultan Mehmet II defeated will Halil depose or kill him? What will become of Sultan Mehmet II (Emperor) romance? What will become of Emperor Constantine XI romance?I am a history buff; especially medieval battles &/or wars. Awesome book cover, font & writing style. A historical fiction, fast paced, action packed thriller, along with suspense filled, & mysterious. As well as a trip down history lane. A well written book, easy to read/follow, never a dull moment. Lots of surprising twists/turns. A few grammar errors, but no out of line sequence sentences. Quite the unique set of characters. It would make a great medieval movie or TV series. Very easy for me to give this book 5 stars.Thank you for the free bookTony Parsons MSW (Washburn)

  • By Betty30554 on February 14, 2014

    Constantinopolis by James Shipman**** (4 - 4 1/2 stars)The story is set in and around Constantinople beginning in November, 1452. For almost 1,000 years, the Ottomans have repeatedly tried to conquer Constantinople, as have the Romans, the Crusaders, and the Hungarians, to name a few. Constantinople has been repeatedly saved primarily by its defenses - a series of massive battlements on the city's 5-mile long west side, the Sea of Marmara to the south, and the Golden Horn and Bosphorous Sea protecting the north and east sides and harbors. It's secondary saving grace seems to have been the belief of the people in the continued existence of their Constantinople.As the tale begins, we get our first look at Mehmet II, new Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. At the age of 21, Mehmet II is a very young emperor, finally succeeding to the throne two years earlier after his father Murad's death, and now has his third chance at getting it right. Twice, Murad elevated his youngest son Mehmet to Sultan, stepping down from the sultanate himself. Twice, Mehmet failed and his father was forced out of retirement to retake rule of one of the largest empires in history. Mehmet, eager to prove himself equal to the task, tried to do too much, too fast. Halil, Grand Vizier and Murad's most trusted counselor, was Mehmet's nemesis in his two failed attempts at the sultanate, and is working once again to impose his own agenda on Mehmet's rule and possibly to overthrow him. Mehmet II believes he must conquer Constantinople in order to cement his power, be able to eliminate Halil, and win the love and adoration of his people. Author James Shipman ably captures the angst of an uncertain young man, the frustration of being treated with condescension, and the more than slight madness, genius and ruthlessness of an extreme Type A personality. Mr. Shipman's Mehmet is not a character about whom you can be ambivalent. At times, I felt repulsed by his inhumanity. In numerous instances though, I found his brilliance astonishing. There was a generous and forgiving manner in dealing with those he conquered that was in stark contrast with his paranoia and suspicions of those around him. Overall, I felt Mehmet was the more developed main character, perhaps rightly so due to his complexity.The other main character is Constantine XI Palaiologos, Emperor of Constantinople, descendent of "The" Emperor Constantine, ruler of the city, a few villages and a few Mediterranean islands. Constantine is dispirited and beleaguered from keeping a near-bankrupt, broken empire functioning for its own sake. He is paying protection money to the Ottoman Empire and tithes to the Holy Roman Empire. And now he finds the city "surrounded for hundreds of miles in each direction" by the Ottomans. Even if he had money left to buy food for his people and pay troops for the city's defense, getting these desperately needed resources is problematic, at best. Though a small number of troops are able to get into the city, Constantine seems to know it will not be enough. A well-planned assault on the Ottomans, one that could literally drive them away and secure the victory for Constantinople, falls victim to treachery. The Pope, after much political delay, commissions a relief force, but privately tells the Captain to travel slowly and circuitously. Constantine agonizes over asking assistance from the Hungarians, because their leader has tried before to conquer the city. He forsakes his only love to pledge marriage to the daughter of a far-away king, in exchange for military aid. Mr. Shipman successfully portrays Constantine in his persistent, pervasive sorrow. I felt sadly cheered by Constantine's courage, and impressed by his integrity in the face of overwhelming odds. He was constant and loyal to those around him, even when they were not deserving of his loyalty and constancy.The story necessarily contains much detail of the various battles of the siege of Constantinople. The mark of a truly great storyteller is the ability to bring an intricate battle or war to life on paper, and Mr. Shipman quite successfully does that. I could hear the clang of steel and smell the coppery odor of blood in his words. But I always hate it when the author is so good that I can hear in the pages the screams of the horses, and, unfortunately in this case, he is. Military characters on both sides of the siege were well followed and their actions detailed in the battle scenes. While I am quite good at map reading and directions, I lose my sense of position in reading battle scenes. The small map at the beginning of the book only gives a general feel, so I finally resorted to the internet for a somewhat more detailed map.The internet map also proved useful in following the characters around during more mundane activities. The beauty of Constantinople came alive for me - the play of sunlight on the palace walls, the sights and sounds and smells of the harbor, the feel of the cool sea breeze in the evening, the beautiful art treasures of the Cathedral of St. Sophia (predecessor, I believe, of the Hagia Sophia), even the chill in the cold winter rain. The descriptions of the settings, as well as general activity within the story were colorful, coherent and evocative, without being overly done. There were hardly any, if any at all, descriptions that ran on to the point where I would think "Alright, already!" Being able to enjoy a scene without it becoming tedious or boring is most pleasant.Technically, Constantinopolis is very well-done. The two perspectives - Mehmet's and Constantine's - balance each other very well and are evenly presented. The editing is fairly thorough, with few overlooked grammatical errors. This is usually my biggest complaint with ebooks - the lack of attention to or competency in editing - and usually results in a loss of stars in my rating (but not in this case). Mr. Shipman's writing and storytelling ability are excellent, and he evidently did a great deal of research for this story - his Epilogue is quite impressive.Quite simply, Constantinopolis is an excellent book, and will most likely be in my top picks for this year.


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